Busker Bob battles on.

The buskers who entertain us on the streets while we wait for the heavy hitters have a tough job.  Even getting a little attention is encouraging for them.  Imagine how Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae feels out on the summer barbeque circuit.  In the midst of backyards full of local Liberals, a reformed New Democrat can feel lonely.

In the doldrums of summer, a little interest from the news media can be a godsend.  The media tend to act like lawyers in a courtroom and do not ask any questions to which they do not know the answers.  It saves having to write down what the interviewee is saying.

The first question is predictably about the NDP’s Jack Layton and cancer, MP Nycole Turmel and the Bloc Quebecoise.  The answer calls for the right level of concern for Jack Layton’s health and the right level of indignation about Jack’s hand-picked stand-in.  Consider the nerve of that woman to play footsie with the separatists as well as the NDP.  It is not as though Bob knows nothing of flitting between parties.

The turmoil around Turmel is also opening the door for Rae to address Prime Minister Harper’s gaffs.  He gets to make scathing comments about Mr. Harper and Harper’s friend Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to the delight of Liberal audiences.  Whether this helps Bob’s friend Dalton McGuinty remains to be seen.

If Bob could just redirect a little of that media stardom that he is presently enjoying to what Mr. Harper is currently doing in Brazil, it would be even more helpful to Canadians.  After ignoring South America, in fact, everything in the America’s south of Mexico over the past five years, Harper has a lot of catching up to do.  Not that the Liberals have a much better record in the southern half of our hemisphere.  There are economies down there that are defying the global trends and we can gain much by making more friends and doing more business.

It is just that international affairs are supposed to be Bob Rae’s specialty and he should head to that opening.  He has to remember that he is a caretaker and, if nothing else, he should keep things looking operational.


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